Brisbane licensing marketplace Layer has raised $3,888,888 in Seed funding
The round was led by Carthona Capital, with support from Aura Ventures, TEN13, Flying Fox, Black Sheep Capital, LUXEM, Tribe Ventures and several angels, including Go1 co-founders Chris Eigeland and Vu Tran.
Layer’s marketplace connects games with leading rights holders including Bruce Lee, Narcos, CareBears, MG, and Snickers. It enables game developers and publishers to license these properties for use in their games.
The cap being used to accelerate its global go to market efforts with hubs in the US and UK, in addition to the company’s development headquarters in Brisbane.
The startup emerged from Startmate last year, taking on a pre-seed round led by Common Sense Ventures that’s seen the company raise $4.2 million in total.
Co-founder Rachit Moti came up with the idea for Layer after he licensed a song from a band he was in for a NASCAR video game soundtrack. He then teamed up with Chris Illuk, having first met him in 2014 when they were working on their own first startups. Moti led G01’s new market entries into the US, UK, and Asia, while Illuk was previously product lead at Sydney-based geospatial startup Propeller Aero.
Moti, Layer’s CEO, said licensing IP is paramount to making games attractive to more players.
“When you think about NBA2K, which is a fully licensed game, or the way Fortnite collaborates with Marvel movies, it’s clear that these AAA game publishers understand that bringing in characters that people know and love helps attract players and create more engaging player experiences,” he said.
“We want to make it just as easy for a small team building a web3.0 racing game to be able to work with Porsche or Ferrari, as it is for the biggest console studios.
“On the flip side, many rights holders are comfortable doing licensed apparel and toy deals, but are not set up to identify opportunities in gaming and the emerging metaverse. Our marketplace brings them together.”
As for the raise figure – Chinese people believe 8 is the luckiest number and associated with wealth and financial success, Moti said: “a little good luck can’t hurt – and it’s a bit of a homage to other raises in the web 3.0 space.”
Carthona Capital principal Jonathan Chow gaming is viewed as a key metaverse use case for the next several years due to the immersive and multi-player experience of the space currently.
“Our view is that in order for the metaverse to feel real, it needs to consist of content people know and can relate to. We’ve seen many companies trying to build new worlds within the metaverse, and believe that as these worlds are built, they will need to be able to bring pop culture within them,” he said.
“In a very short period, we have been impressed with Layer’s ability to build out its platform and partner with leading game developers and IP holders.”